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Bucks, others expressing interest in Gary Talton, D-League assist leader

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With Kendall Marshall out for the season, the Bucks are exploring their options for getting a bit more depth in the backcourt.

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According to a report from Shams Charania at RealGM, the Milwaukee Bucks are among a few teams exploring a D-League call-up for NBADL assist leader Gary Talton. In 26 games this season split between the Rio Grande Valley Vipers and the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, Talton has averaged 13.2 points and 10.2 assists per game while shooting over 40% from behind the three-point line.

Talton's current squad, the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, is the current D-League affiliate of the Milwaukee Bucks, as well as all other NBA franchises that do not already have an individual NBADL affiliate.

The Rio Grande Valley Vipers might be a familiar name. The team was profiled by Grantland.com, among others, for their unconventional approach to basketball strategy. They play at a bristling pace and almost completely eschew long-twos in favor of threes and layups. They've been described as a basketball testing ground for Daryl Morey, GM of the Houston Rockets, the Vipers' NBA affiliate.

This extreme style of play might deserve some of the credit for Talton's eye-popping numbers. In his 12 games with Rio Grande Valley, the 24 year old point guard from the University of Illinois-Chicago averaged 13.5 assists per game. That number dropped nearly 50% to 7.4 per game after Talton moved to Fort Wayne.

Still, even with inflated numbers, Talton represents an interesting option for the Bucks as they look to fill the void left by Kendall Marshall's knee injury. With so many teams seemingly in contention this season, the trade market has been stirred up earlier and more aggressively than usual, which could make acquiring help from another team a costly proposition. A short-term contract for Talton would carry very little cost or risk. It might also calm the nerves of those worried about a reactionary deal to yet another season-ending injury to a Bucks rotational player.